Special Clinical Focus
- PTCA and stent implantation
- Catheter ablation techniques
- Pacemaker implantation and follow-up care
- Defibrillator (ICD) implantation and follow-up care
- Electrical cardioversion
Today, with its Cardiology and Intensive Care Ward, the Department of Internal Medicine consists of approximately 100 beds, including an internal medical intensive care ward with 13 beds, an out-patients’ clinic, 2 wards (private and general) and a cardiac catheter laboratory with 3 cardiac catheter benches. 11 specialists in internal medicine and cardiology, together with 6 registrars and 6 junior doctors or housemen, care for the in-patients and the out-patients.
Over the years, the cardiac monitoring unit has become an advanced internistic Intensive Care Ward with an integrated Coronary Care Unit and Stroke Unit, in which interdisciplinary care is provided for all non-surgical acute and intensive care patients in Ward WEGE42. This unit also represents an overflow ward for a number of hospitals in Upper Austria and in neighbouring states (catchment area of approximately a half a million inhabitants).
All up to date diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in interventional cardiology are promptly introduced into the routine in accordance with the respective evidence and the guidelines of the European Cardiology Society. For example, transfemoral aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and the MitraClip procedure are provided for the appropriate patients from our catchment area and are continually performed following the appropriate preparation. One particular emphasis, however, is in acute cardiology for our catchment area. Since 2003, all patients with acute coronary syndrome undergo an acute angiography, generally with the required invasive intervention.
Interventional electrophysiology is a further important sub-discipline of the Wels Cardiology Department. Since 2014, all invasive electrophysiology examinations have been performed and various ablative techniques (e.g. for patients with atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, circulatory tachycardia) have been routinely performed in a new separate cardiac catheter laboratory.
All the usual devices are implanted and followed up at the Wels Cardiology Department in close collaboration with the Cardiac Surgery Department at the Wels Hospital, beginning with back-up pacemakers, up to probeless pacemakers, complex defibrillators (ICD) and CRT systems. At the same time, telemedical monitoring, which is provided by and carried out by our Out-patients’ Department, plays an ever increasing role in the long-term care of patients with such devices.
One focus in conservative cardiology is on the care of patients with hypertension; already in 2012, the Department had been the first centre in Austria to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence by the European Society for Hypertension. Here, the scientific emphases are above all in the determination of the pulse wave and the vascular age, concerning which numerous papers have already been published. All post-heart transplant patients can be followed up in the Cardiology Clinic; this facility is also available to cardiac insufficiency patients prior to transplantation.
There is close scientific collaboration with the new Kepler University Hospital in Linz, where the Wels Cardiology Department actively contributes to the “Cardiometabolic Research Institute”.
An out-patient cardiology rehabilitation centre named Cardio-Vital Wels is attached to the Cardiology Department. Under the guidance of Prof. Eber, patients with acute cardiac conditions, primarily from the Wels Hospital, are cared for as out-patients for 6 weeks (Phase 2). The training consists of exercise therapy (ergometer, treadmill, cardio exercise equipment, relaxation techniques, etc.) and information on various topics of importance for cardiac patients (emergencies, risk factors, heart medications, nutrition, psychological health, etc.). There is also the option of extending the programme to up to 12 months (Phase 3); both phases are accepted by the cost bearers following application.
The patients value the Cardiology Department as an almost informal unit in the highly technological world of a large hospital (< 80,000 in-patient admissions per year, 5th largest hospital in Austria). The patients entrusted to us can expect the most up to date, scientifically backed management of their cardiovascular condition; with its numerous departments and institutes, the Wels Hospital also provides all diagnostic and therapeutic options for other questions relevant to health.
Selected expert in the specialist field Cardiology